Cheez-Its

www.acozykitchen.com

1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces

3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon half-and-half

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.

On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough roughly into a 13 by 7-inch rectangle that is 1/16-inch thick. With a pastry wheel, trim off the sides into a 12 by 6-inch rectangle.  Next, cut the dough into 1  by 1-inch squares.  Using the blunt end of a skewer make a hole in each cracker.  Gently transfer the crackers (I needed to use a sharp knife to get them off the table) to a parchment lined baking sheet.  The dough may sag or may break occasionally in the transfer, but don’t be concerned — just do your best.  Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of kosher salt all over the pre-baked crackers. 

Bake the crackers on the middle rack for 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven and set the baking sheet on a rack to cool.

Serve at room temperature.

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